Problems with condensing, particularly with string divisi


I’m currently in the final stages of engraving an orchestral piece that I have composed, and I’m encountering several issues with the condensing function, particularly regarding string divisi.

  1. Some glissando lines disappear when they are condensed. See the comparison in Galley View vs Consensed Page View

  1. Some forced rhythms don’t appear in condensed mode.

2) Bar 18 Condensed

  1. Double stops are not condensed

  2. Artificial harmonics are not condensed, regardless of whether I use the harmonic function or a diamond notehead set.

I wrote about it in another specific thread, but haven’t got any feedback since.

  1. Invisible noteheads reappear in Condensed mode

Additionally, I’ve noticed a couple of minor things: :
6) I don’t know why desks 4 and 5 of the 2nd violins are not on the same line (compare with violas)

  1. I don’t understand why desks 1-2 and 3-4 don’t appear on the same bar.

I am particularly concerned about issues #1, #3, and #4. The condensed mode is an extremely powerful tool, but these limitations greatly compromise the engraving of my score. I need to send it out soon, and it seems impossible to find workarounds when the condensed function is activated.

If you’re able to provide assistance, I can share my project privately, including the screenshot files. Each file is labeled with the corresponding bar number for easy identification.

In a more general sense, I am eagerly awaiting an update from Dorico that will primarily focus on bug fixes and improving the existing music notation functions. I am a big fan of Dorico and have always purchased new versions on their release day. However, this is the first time I feel like I’ve hit a dead end due to bugs and limitations that have persisted since at least Dorico 3.

Best regards,


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As Daniel has said, in order to consult on condensing, we need to see the Dorico file, or at least excerpts that demonstrate the problem areas and surrounding notes.

Here is an example with strings artificial harmonics
Projet sans titre 1.dorico (1.0 MB)

As I said in my first post, I can share the project privately if you want to have a look at it. :slight_smile:
Thanks for your help!


There aren’t good workarounds for these divisi issues at the moment, unfortunately, and I agree that it’s not good enough. We will be returning to these areas as soon as we can in order to address as many of these issues as possible.


This is rather strange. I remember having such issues, but why is it that I can’t make the unisons work in the OP’s file, but I can in this one which I made from scratch using Dorico’s String Orchestra template.?

harmonics condensing.dorico (547.1 KB)

I add a pic here:

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I got the beginning of an answer!

The problem occurs with manual condensing vs default condensing.

The thing is I have in my score to use manual condensing because the divisi are changing throughout the piece :frowning:

I’m not sure what the difference is here at all. It couple be a setting in Notation Options. I really don’t know … Would try copying some of your music in my file to see if it work, if it does, it is likely a setting, but I would really like for @dspreadbury or anyone else from the team to take a look if they can because I am quite at a loss to explain this

Works fine here also with default settings except for allowing divisi condensing.


About labels, is there a way to change “unis.” to “Tutti”?

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Engraving Options.


lower right in the image

In your file:
Notation options>condensing>Unisons>Whole-phrase unison approach: select Allow single-stem unison.
I guess the staff attached texts “artificial harmonics” and “With noteheads” are just there to clarify the example, but in this case they will prevent those voices to condensed, so you could delete them or copy them to the other three staves so they are all identical.

I got the beginning of an answer!

The problem occurs with manual condensing (vs default condensing)

The thing is I have to use manual condensing because the desk grouping changes throughout the piece :frowning:

I feel like I may be missing or misunderstanding something.
You can add as many condensing changes as needed throughout the piece.

I think he realizes this, but the real issue was that he had a notation setting that was literally preventing single stem unisons. With that out of the way, he can fiddle around with the number of staves using condensing changes.


Unfortunately, it is a bit more complicated… Even if the right notation option about unisson is activated, Dorico is unable to condense artificial harmonics (or double stops), if I choose the manual condensing approach.

I can confirm this, however, I have no issue using the native setting or manual reset. You’re going to have to be quite clever in using resets if you have a lot of staff number changes. So far, If I start a file and do not use manual condensing when I want a four part unison, it still only shows as a single not. But if your file is complex, there may be instances where options will be limited

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Why are you “condensing” this divisi, when the whole problem is that these are just “unison”? End the divisi function, these are unison passages, and you’ll have no problem.

It is mainly because there are a lot of divisi elsewhere, at the point where I’m doing a different individual part for each desk. If have a staff for each desk throughout the piece, it is much more easier to make the individual parts.

ahhhh interesting.

I don’t know if this would effect the condensing function at all or not, but maybe it would make more sense to approach this as many separate “players” rather than using the divisi functionality? The divisi function is amazing for its ability to split out the string section to multiple staves and back, but you’re not really doing that if you want separate staves throughout the piece for the different parts.

It may have zero effect on the condensing functionality, I don’t know, but it would seem to be a much simpler and less fussy approach.